Aarhus view

I Bid Farewell To This View & Headed West.

The more E & P told me about their Artist friend up/over in the Wild West of Denmark the more I wanted to get up there as soon as I could, so E introduced us online and we began talking about when I might come up and visit. It seemed that Monday would be the best time for her so I began making arrangements.

I booked a ride to the nearby city of Holstebro through this really cool site/app called Go More, which paired up people who needed rides with people who wanted to give rides for a little extra cash. From there I would take a bus to Lemvig where their friend (L) would pick me up after she was finished with a meeting she had early that evening. I wasn’t sure whether my funky phone would actually work up there (it was barely working in Aarhus), so I would just chill at the harborside until she came to get me.

My excitement spiked over the rest of the weekend as I prepared for the trip and I learned more about the West Coast of Denmark & heard more stories about L. When this crazy world excursion/quest began I suspected that, as awesome as all the dear friends I was visiting were, the extreme magic would happen with the people I was going to meet along the journey.

On Monday I said my goodbyes to E & P, their roommates & others and grabbed an Aarhus city bus out to the near suburban office park where I would rendezvous with my GoMore ride. I was way early so I parked my big rolling suitcase and other bags in a shady spot at the corner of this corporate parking lot and waited for my ride.

I got a few quizzical looks from folks going to and from the lot (it was a major global corporation that shall remain nameless) but considering my ass would have likely been tasered by security in the US, I considered myself fortunate.

At the appointed time H rolled up in his car and we were off to Holstebro. He worked for the un-aforementioned company and commuted to Aarhus from Holstebro every weekday, saving some gas money and getting some company by doing the GoMore thang. We had a nice conversation about various topics as the scenery rolled by for the next 90 minutes.

Things kept getting more and more rural as we traveled and I kept getting more and more pleased by this, which amused H quite a bit. I had told him that I grew up in rural Wisconsin so we chatted about fishing, farming, and other country pursuits.

One of the coolest things about Denmark’s rural freeways is that they have these Green Overpasses (for want of a better term) every couple kilometers or so; where animals could cross over the roadway. They’re kind of like overgrown pedestrian overpasses. I coincidentally noticed the first one right after I was struck (no pun intended) by the lack of roadkill, and then remembered reading about them online a few weeks before. H confirmed that was what they were and was quite gratified by my excitement and interest.

He also (likely for his own amusement after finding out I was a standup comic) asked me who I thought was going to replace Obama, and relished the rant I went into about the Republican Clown Car and other American Political kvetches of mine. That led into the “What is up with America and guns and violence?” conversation I’ve had with so many Danes (and Germans & others as well)- but I already covered that ground in my last dispatch. Anyway, the time just flew by and we bid each other farewell at the Holstebro bus station. He was a fine fellow, I may grab a ride from him back south if I need to.

I managed to find the bus to Lemvig with the assistance of this extremely kind and helpful young woman who was also taking that bus. Things got even more rural as we headed north and my silly grin was about to split my head open.

After about 40 minutes we rolled into Lemvig, which is a drop-dead gorgeous little harbor town, and the bus dropped me off right at the aforementioned harbor. It was a lovely day and the bright northern sun shone upon this adorable tableaux as I arranged all my bags and sat on a little bench to await L’s arrival.

The sleepy feeling early evening vibe soaked into my soul as I munched a couple pieces of bread and sipped some water. My text to L went “undeliverable” (but that was expected, it seems I can no longer send, only receive) and the time when she said her meeting would end came and passed with no text from her. Not a problem, since meetings often go on longer than one expects, especially with creative folks.

The minutes continued to tick away and I began to wonder if something might be up. I’ve long had a tendency toward what is known as “catastrophization.” It was especially terrible during my 1999-2002 Post-Rogers Park PTSD Period, and this crazy adventure had brought a relapse of it (What am I going to do? Why the hell did I do this? What shall happen? OMG! OMG! OMG!) in Berlin, although E & P’s Aarhus Therapy had quelled it quite a bit. I began to wonder if something may have happened to her; car accident, health problem, emergency of some sort, etc.etc.etc…

Here’s where I knew The Danish Decompression was really taking hold:

I started to tell myself “OK, you’ve traveled to another part of the globe with no specific plans and very little money just on a strong personal hunch that it was somehow the thing you should do at this point in your life. Now you’ve made your way to a remote corner of a country you’ve never been to before and don’t speak the language; to meet someone you’ve never met before, do not know where they live, and whom you have no way of calling.”

Instead of going down the path of decrying my foolhardiness and obsessing that I was going to die homeless and Euroless/Kronerless on the streets of some foreign land… I just started laughing uproariously to myself. The remaining clouds seemed to lift off of me and I realized that somehow no matter what happened I was going to be OK.

I took out my camera and took a few shots of the pretty yellow building across the street and the bucolic marina behind me— and truly felt like I was finally (after years of trying) living in the moment.

YallerHouse1

Hard To Have A Panic Attack With This View

 

After another 20 minutes or so, L came walking across a nearby parking lot waving to me. We greeted each other and spoke for a minute or two as we walked to her car and figured out a way to cram all my various bags into its already crowded interior. Then we retired across the street (to the very cafe I was planning to get food and seek wifi to contact her if she didn’t show up) for some dinner.

As much as I had assumed/hoped we would hit it off, L and I almost instantly got into the groove that kindred souls tend to do and as we dined we had an extremely comfortable conversation about our lives and other various & sundry things. At a certain point I made a sardonic comment about something (the sort of comment that often puts “normal” people off) and she laughed so hard she almost hyperventilated- and I knew that I had found that first “well-met stranger” who would bring whatever the hell was supposed to happen on this adventure into a higher gear.

Then we left to go visit her Artist Colony In The Making out in the sticks of Denmark…